Annual Crop Report

2021 Monterey County Crop Report

(Former) Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales announced on July 12, 2022, that the 2021 Crop Report reflects a production value of $4.10 billion for Monterey County, an increase of 4.8% from the prior pandemic-impacted year.

As stated by Commissioner Gonzales:

It is important to note that the values represented in this report reflect gross value of agricultural commodities grown in Monterey County, and does not consider costs associated with labor, field preparation, planting, irrigating, harvesting, distribution, and other production activities. As is always the case, we saw some crops increase in value while others decreased in value. The following are the major increases and decreases.

Strawberries: Top Crop in 2021

Strawberries, in 2021, continued to maintain our top crop spot with an increase of 4.9% for a value of $968,086,000. Similarly, leaf lettuce continued as the 2nd most valuable crop at $741,598,000 with an increase of 4.1% and head lettuce as the 3rd most valuable crop at $451,556,000 with an increase of 5.4%. Broccoli remained at 4th place ranking despite a 9.4% decrease to $309,490,000.

Vegetable Crops category saw an increase in value of 1.7% to $2,568,381,000. Fruits and Nuts category had an increase of 14.3% to $1,285,767,000 due in part to a rebound in Wine Grape values.

Wine Grapes celebrated a rebound increase of 106.2% or $112,600,000 to reach a total for red and
white varietals of $218,591,000, ranking it as the 5th most value crop in 2021. Wine Grape production
per acre was well above average. Livestock, Seeds and Field Crops all saw increases of 2.3%, 4.8%
and 7.6% respectively.

In addition, Cannabis production saw an increase in value of $134.1 million to $618,193,000, although
product values decreased during the fourth quarter of 2021 and remained low. Industrial Hemp crop
production increased as more acres were planted, although market prices dropped for a 39.6%
decrease in total value.

This year’s Crop and Livestock Report highlights the diversification of growing many different crops
in Monterey County, and the beneficial impact that diversity provides the local Agricultural Industry
in the form of economic strength and resilience. The theme of the Report “Salad Bowl of the World”
reflects the diversification of crops grown within the Salinas Valley. This is a phrase coined by George
Cominos, a prominent hotel owner in Salinas at the turn of the century.

Link to the full 2020 Crop Report here.

This year’s Crop Report features “Economic Diversificiation in Agriculture: A Deeper Dive” authored by Dr. Jeff Langholz of Middlebury Institute in Monterey.

If Monterey County were to be considered as a state, total production surpasses over twenty of the other states.  Production of 26 commodities exceeds the $12 million value mark, with 10 commodities exceeding $100 million.

Dispite Monterey County Ag production dropping below $4 billion, the first time since 2012, farmers continue demonstrate resiliency due to the diversity of our agricultural economy. 

Monterey County’s Top 10 Crops in 2021:

  1. Strawberries = $968,086,000
  2. Leaf Lettuce = $ 741,598,000
  3. Head Lettuce = $451,556,000
  4. Broccoli = $319,490,000
  5. Wine Grapes = $218,581,000
  6. Spinach = $173,882,000
  7. Cauliflower = $155,983,000
  8. Celery = $146,641,000
  9. Livestock & Poultry = $113,434,000
  10. Brussels Sprouts = $105,616,000
over view
  1. Note: all crop values are gross production amounts and do not represent profits on individual crops.Monterey County is again the fourth highest Ag producing County in California, following Kern, Tulare, and Fresno Counties.

    View a schedule of crops grown and harvested in Monterey County by season.

Ag Commissioner issues reports on local conservation efforts:

Water Conservation Principles (link)

Soil Conservation Principles (link)

Energy Conservation Principles (link)